Acquisition of drones from the US gets Cabinet approval — Liew

-A +A

TAIPING (June 13): The acquisition of 12 ScanEagle drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) valued at almost RM80 million and acquired from the United States (US) has received approval from the Cabinet.

Deputy Defence Minister Senator Liew Chin Tong said all the drones were acquired without involving any cost to the Malaysian Government as it formed a Maritime Security Initiative (MSI) sponsored fully by the US.

"The statement released by the Defence Ministry (on the acquisition of the drones) earlier was clear and had been agreed to by the Cabinet Ministers.

"...our foreign policy is that we are friendly (to have cooperation and military ties) with the US and China without favouring any particular country,” he said.

He disclosed this after the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Presentation Ceremony to 480 members of the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans for the Taiping zone, here today.

Liew was asked to comment on the statement by a member of the central committee of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), S Arutchelvan who claimed that Malaysia compromised with the US imperialist agenda when it acquired 12 drones from that country.

Meanwhile, Liew said he would issue the latest statement on the incursion activities involving land belonging to the Defence Ministry, next week.

He said the Ministry also conducted an internal investigation on the parties responsible for activities on the abuse of the land.

"We will conduct an investigation and take action on those responsible for committing the offence besides making a police report later and if there were elements of corruption (in the incursion activities), we will report to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

"The Ministry takes a serious view as various activities including land swaps or land incursions on Ministry-owned land were part of the national interests to ensure that the country’s strategic land was protected and not 'invaded' at will,” he said.

Last Tuesday, the Defence Ministry said in a statement that 16 places belonging to the Ministry had been identified to have been 'invaded' involving agricultural activities, construction of structures, squatter houses, and houses of worship and illegal logging.